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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Alarming outlook - half of Detroiters gone in five years?

Everyone knows Detroit has shrunk by more than half over the past 50 years, to less than 750 k inhabitants. Unfortunately, according to a recent poll from Glengariff Group, commissioned by the News (http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20121009/METRO01/210090369/Poll-Crime-drives-Detroiters-out-40-expect-leave-within-5-years?), 40% of inhabitants plan to leave the City within the next five years.

Other insights:
  • 57% of those planning to leave are families with kids
  • Crime and insecurity is the key factor driving the exodus ("there's an aura of fear that just pervades the whole neighborhood" is an observation that sums up the problem nicely) - 58% of respondents say crime is their biggest daily challenge (comparatively, the economy and unemployment is the top challenge for only 13% of respondents)
  • 53% of women feel unsafe (vs 43% of men)
  • 66% of residents believe the City is on the wrong track
  • Almost all city officials had extraordinarily low approval ratings
  • Carjackings are commonplace
Young people and professionals moving to Midtown or Corktown or downtown are great trends. However, if we cannot address the instability in the neighborhoods, the influx and momentum we are seeing will be lost against the ongoing mass exodus.